Social Web Recap 25.06.18
My weekly annotated summary of significant social web platform developments from the previous week, with links and carping marginalia as needed . . . Posted every Monday morning or thereabouts
Love the Numbers
The explanation may be bigger than the chart. But here goes: The Pew research Center released a study about the ability of Americans to distinguish between factual and opinion statements. "The main portion of the study . . . found that a majority of Americans correctly identified at least three of the five statements in each set. But this result is only a little better than random guesses."
What makes for more discriminating judgement? "Those with high political awareness, those who are very digitally savvy and those who place high levels of trust in the news media are better able than others to accurately identify news-related statements as factual or opinion."
'Watch' is coming alive as Watch's Discover feed with original shows being introduced to all users. I will also will incorporate all videos from companies and creators. Digiday reports that "Facebook has begun to add non-episodic videos from publishers, creators, companies and other pages to Watch to appear alongside the episodic shows the section was originally dedicated to. Any videos from all of the pages that people follow on Facebook will be eligible to appear within Watch, as will videos from pages that people don’t follow, Fidji Simo . . . "
This one should be controversial, but I haven't noticed much blow back . . . yet. Facebook is letting companies put auto-play ads in the Messenger app inbox. The concern, of course, is Do you really want to have auto-play ads pop up next to your private messages? “Stefanos Loukakos, who runs Messenger’s ad business, says he’s aware of this, and the company will monitor user behavior to determine if these ads turn people off." On va voir as my French friends might say.
Facebook has stiffened its policies on advertising weapon accessories to minors, "including products that are mounted on guns for the purposes of illuminating, magnifying or focusing in on (e.g. optics, flashlights) a target as well as holsters and belt accessories.” The social media giant announced it would restrict the advertising of weapon accessories, such as optics, belt accessories and holsters, to those over the age of 18.
Facebook is testing letting some group administrators charge members for exclusive content, in specific sectors including college planning, meal prep, and home cleaning. These ‘subscription’ groups will “make it easier for admins to provide these experiences with built-in tools, and to save them time so they can focus on offering members-only content.”
And continuing the trend of letting people know how much time they’ve spent on a platform, Facebook’s code reveals a buried ‘Your Time on Facebook’ feature, which “shows the tally of how much time you spent on the Facebook app on your phone on each of the last seven days, and your average time spent per day. It lets you set a daily reminder that alerts you when you’ve reached your self-imposed limit, plus a shortcut to change your Facebook notification settings.”
YouTube launched its new music streaming service last week called 'YouTube Music', which is "built on top of all the music on YouTube that you can’t find anywhere else - personalized and all simply organized in one new app and web player." It includes such features as: a recommendation engine; thousands of playlists for any genre, mood or activity; a dedicated 'Hotlist' screen for the hottest music; and, of course, a premium version so you can sidestep all the ads. Sound like Spotify to you?
Two changes to YouTube will help video makers earn more money from their creative efforts and enraptured viewers — the ability to sell merchandise with their videos and to charge for membership on their channels.
Instagram has created IGTV, which it says is "re-envisioning mobile video with a new standalone surface that features longer videos and easy discoverability through channels, all in a vertical format that sits upright, in the palm of your hand." Specifically, IGTV is mobile first, starts playing as soon as you open the app, and focused on creators "you love most and already follow on Instagram" with the added benefit that anyone can be "a creator on IGTV and upload videos in the app or on the web." For the time being videos can be up to 10 minutes long. But larger accounts (assumed to be the most popular creators or brands) will be able to post hour long videos. A question, though: How long can anyone comfortably watch vertical videos?